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KARACHI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Sunday announced the resumption of its two-way flight operation to Saudi Arabia after the Kingdom lifted a temporary travel ban.

A spokesperson for the national airline said passengers will now be able to travel to Saudi Arabia from today on all PIA flights. He asked the passengers to obtain a negative PCR test before embarking on a journey to the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia had imposed the temporary ban on international travel following the emergence of the more contagious variant of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries.

After the ban, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) permitted non-Saudis to leave the Kingdom and permitted foreign airlines to operate flights. GACA had directed the airlines to strictly follow the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

PIA operated one-way commercial flights to Saudi Arabia to bring back Pakistanis stranded there. A one-way operation of flights would put a financial burden on PIA but bringing back Pakistanis is unavoidable, the spokesperson had said.

The PIA spokesperson had asked effected passengers to register through the airline’s UAN 11-786-786 with their working phone numbers to receive timely updates. NNI